FREMONT, Mich. — Sept. 30, 2023 is an important day.
It’s scheduled to be Jewel Daniels and Kiegan Ostrander’s wedding day. Their parents said the kids are determined to be healthy and whole to be able to walk down the aisle that day.
“Oh Jewel, she is the most amazing girl ever,” said Jennifer Roesly with a big smile. “When Kiegan was growing up, I prayed to God that he would find a girl that would treat him the way Jewel does. Those two are the perfect couple. They are two peas in a pod.”
Lately, Kiegan has been by Jewel’s side helping her heal from the injuries she sustained during a knife attack last week.
“She’s had three surgeries in the last four days,” said Marlene Vincent, Jewel’s mother. “There are more to come. We don’t know how many more. We’re just taking it day by day.”
Fremont police said on March 2 around 7 p.m. a man broke into their home and attacked both Jewel and Kiegan with a knife. He then ran away. Police arrested him the next morning and he has since been officially charged with assault with attempt to murder, among others.
READ MORE: Fremont PD says man in custody after 2 people assaulted with knife
Meanwhile, the couple was taken to the hospital. Kiegan was released soon after arriving. Jewel remained there for days, suffering from several injuries to her ear, face, and hands.
“We have been told not only will her hands never be what they were but she will never have full function or all of the use of her hands,” Vincent said. “But through the healing process they said she will eventually be able to do whatever it is that she wants to do.”
Vincent said when the doctors told Jewel about the status of her hand, she replied to them, "You don’t know me. I’ll be doing it."
Vincent admired her daughter's determined spirit. She loves going to the gym and was working to get into shape for their wedding.
“He didn’t deserve this,” Roesly said before taking a brief pause. “Neither did Jewel. They’re amazing. They’re both amazing young adults.”
Roesly got teary-eyed when talking about the kids. She said what’s been helpful during this difficult time has been the outpouring of love and support from the community.
Immediately after the attack, they created GoFundMe accounts for both Jewel and Kiegan to help with medical expenses. Since then, people have collectively donated close to $100,000.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t thank the community enough. People that we don’t even know have reached out. They have donated their time, money, services just to say, 'We’re here for you if you need anything,'” Roesly said. “And, our community I already knew was amazing but I now know how really amazing they are and how supportive they are.”
People in the community have even stepped up to help pay for the couple's wedding expenses. It’s an effort spearheaded by Layla Trubac of TruVision Studios.
“My initial reaction was just tears. I mean just thinking about it now. Jewel literally is the smiliest, most talkative, joyful person I’ve probably met,” said Trubac during an interview with FOX 17 on Tuesday. “So, when I first found out I just couldn’t imagine the two of them going through something so horrific. They’re just such great people.”
Trubac, whose daughter grew up and played volleyball with Jewel, shot their engagement photos last summer at a beach in Holland. She remembered having a fun time capturing their love, she said. So, when she heard about what happened, she knew she had to help in some way.
“I know that financially it’s going to be a hardship for them, with hospitals bills and with not being able to work for quite some time. The healing journey is going to be extensive and long,” Trubac said. “I heard from a friend, ‘That wedding, how’s that going to happen?’ Weddings are expensive for everybody. I knew that it had to happen because their love was so strong.”
So, Trubac posted about their ordeal on social media, asking vendors to pitch in and help cover the costs of their wedding. The post has since been shared close to 900 times, and many people have offered their services for free.
“TruVisions’s doing the video. We’re going to do their film for them and a love story for them as well,” Trubac said. “We have dozens of florists that have offered. I think we have it narrowed down to a few and will probably just ask a few to chip in. We have officiants that have offered; DJs, uplighting, bartenders, decorators, rental places [too].”
Trubac was blown away.
She said they still have a list they have to go through to see who can offer what service. She’s grateful that so many people want to help.
The family of the victims are grateful too and can't wait to see Sept. 30, 2023.
“The kids will get through this. Kiegan and Jewel will get through this. Love wins,” Roesly said. “That’s all I have to say: love wins.”
Jewel and Kiegan provided a statement to FOX 17, which reads:
“Difficult situation. Appreciate all the love and support but I want to remind everyone that big news in a little town is appalling. We’ve heard untrue things; rumors keep getting bigger. This helps nobody. Police need to be able to their job. Any info, direct it to Fremont PD, not social media. We don’t want interference, so he doesn’t get off on a technicality. Please remember the family of the suspects. Many times they are victimized as well."We thank officers for working on the case as they have the suspect in custody. We thank all the doctors, surgeons, nurses, staff as they all have been wonderful. We thank to all who have reached out, messaged, called. We have not had time to return messages yet but appreciate the love and care being shown by loved ones in the community."We ask for prayers for jewel and Kiegan and our families. We will be praying for all involved including their family. Happy we’re alive. We will try to keep [everyone] updated. This healing process will be months, physically and emotionally.”